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yet to bear fruit and right now we do have the focus on the senate. majority leader reid and mitch mcconnell trying to hammer out a deal that would, to some extent extend the bush-era tax cuts for those making $250,000 although we might see that number go up to 400,000, 500,000 if there is some type of a deal. the president has called on a deal to extend unemployment insurance benefits so that is another aspect that they're negotiating, but clearly, these negotiations are difficult. they have been from day one and that is why we are seeing them go to the 11th hour, but again, as of right now one democratic source expressing skepticism about getting something done by the all-important deadline. craig? >> the president, of course, appearing on "meet the press" tomorrow. is there a sense that the white house needs to stay out in front of this to convince americans that he's doing his part to reach a settlement before zero hour? >> think that is part of it and we've seen president obama take this tactic before. during the payroll tax cut fight, you'll remember he ran out and talked to people in
with the new bill that's going to come out in the senate. big if as to whether it could pass. is mitch mcconnell going to agree not to filibuster. is the speaker going to be able to bring it to the floor, which is viewed by his right wing as a complete sell out? because if he brings it to the floor, the democrats and the votes, 17, 20 you mentioned might be enough to pass it. that would be the end of his speakership. >> okay. >> so he's going to have to say no to bringing it to the floor. the president looks very good. i think the real story here is, if i were the president, i would not want to make a deal now. i think things get better for him as time goes on. >> at the same time -- >> it's a critical part of negotiations. if we don't make a deal, what will happen. what's likely to happen. >> at the same time, the american people are on both sides. >> very good job, by the way. what he's doing is, my expectation -- what i think is happening is the president doesn't want to make a deal, but he has to show he's doing everything possible to make it. he has to show the public wants to see him actin
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